Parliament Building now resembles a flea market, as underpaid staffers have now resorted to hawking to survive, an opposition legislator has said.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Responding to a motion on the debate on the President’s speech, Glen View North lawmaker Fani Munengami (MDC-T) on Tuesday said most Parliament staffers were selling different items in their respective offices in order to survive.
“We cannot blame Parliament staff for doing this because they are also suffering like other civil servants,” he said.
Munengami said the Parliament Standing Rules and Orders should deal adequately with issues of salaries of Parliament staff and MPs, some of whom have been spotted boarding cheap buses to get to Harare for sittings.
“Honourable (Robert) Mukwena travels all the way from Chiredzi, which is 800 kilometres from Harare. He has become well known at bus terminuses boarding ‘chicken buses’ to attend Parliamentary sittings. It is not about him only. It is about every MP who is suffering,” he said.
Buhera South legislator, Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) congratulated President Robert Mugabe on turning 92, describing him as “God-given”.
“He (Mugabe) is different from other presidents who have photos taken with prostitutes,” he said in apparent reference to MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who recently made media headlines over pictures of him with a number of women, some seemingly scantily-dressed, outside a lodge in Gweru.
Tsvangirai has since defended the pictures, saying the women in the photos were just his “fashionably dressed” supporters.
It has turned out the women were on holiday and had requested Tsvangirai for the photo shoot.
Munengami went on to raise a point of order with Deputy Speaker Mabel Chinomona, saying the word “prostitute” was un-Parliamentary and illegal.
Proportional Representation MP Nomvula Mguni (MDC-T) also contributed to the debate, saying Bulawayo was now a ghost town due to lack of investment, policy inconsistency and corruption.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill sailed through the National Assembly, with Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi saying it would also enrol civilians and include departments where students will learn manufacturing of modern equipment.
Southerton MP Gift Chimanikire (MDC-T) said while the university was welcome, the curriculum should not produce military personnel that were partisan.